NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — The CDC’s eviction moratorium order, temporarily halting residential evictions is set to expire Saturday, July 31.

It’s not too late to get rental assistance and there are millions of dollars still up for grabs in Benton county.

Hark at Excellerate Foundation has partnered with the county to help distribute $8.4 million of emergency rental assistance. That is for renters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic financially.

There is still about $4.1 million dollars left to help folks catch up or cover upcoming rent. The money can also be used to pay for your utility expenses.

Excellerate Foundation, CEO, Jeff Webster says their goal is to keep folks in their homes.

“We can also send a letter to the property owner to let them know we are working with the tenant that you have him and we will be sending some dollars in our next batch… and we do that just to smooth things over,” said Webster.

The funds go directly to the property manager who can also apply for relief for their tenants.

Webster tells us there’s about a two-week turnaround time from getting the application to receiving the rental relief.

The county has until the end of September to use 65 % of the rental assistance or the money left will go back to the government.

Webster says they are being proactive in reaching and finding folks in need. He says at the rate they are distributing the relief, they expect to have it all out by the end of November.

Hark is a community organization that serves all of Northwest Arkansas. It works to connect folks with all types of resources including help with rent, utilities, transportation, food, and legal support to name a few.

“Hark says hey, we are going to build you this plan… Here are the different places for what your needs are, and we are good at helping tease out underlying needs.. Then we follow up, hey did that work for you?” said Webster.

Webster says the biggest community need right now is affordable housing, adding it was a big issue before the pandemic.

The Economic Opportunity Agency is another organization that can provide folks with assistance with rent, energy and water as well as emergency food assistance.

If you’re facing hardships look for the resources available in your community. Reach out to your local housing authority and your utility company for example and find out if you qualify for any programs that can help.